February 2, 2016

Five Poems by Valentina Cano: "Milton", "Birthday, 2015", "Self-Portrait", "A Thought", "The Sea"

Valentina Cano is a student of classical singing who spends whatever free time she has either reading or writing. Her works have appeared in numerous publications and her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Web. Her debut novel, The Rose Master, was published in 2014 and was called a "strong and satisfying effort" by Publishers Weekly.

IVJ Cano Feb 2016 wings


The Devil has taken over my life.
Inserted himself into the gaps between my words,
uprooting the bulbs of silence
I carefully planted.
He trails behind me on my morning walks.
swimming in my shadow,
picking up stray feathers
he’ll stitch into a feral pair of wings.

Birthday, 2015

I was born in another hemisphere.
I was born in the whirl of pollen
and sweating limbs.
I live as a child of the cold,
of mottled leaves.
These truths are tectonic plates
rubbing inside me,
shrieking like split ceramic.


She’s a person with feathers for blood.
They ruffle in the sunlight,
in faded attempts at forgotten flight.
She walks as if her bones
are ready to slide out of their sheaths,
to taste the air,
to bleach themselves dry

A Thought

A thought grows
razor wire teeth.
A thought grows
razor wire teeth in a loop.
A thought grows
razor wire teeth in a loop for a crown.
A thought grows
razor wire teeth in a loop for a crown I cannot wear.
A thought grows
razor wire teeth in a loop for a crown I cannot wear and cannot take off.
of all the muck of life. 

The Sea

She’s been chasing a red pail
her entire life.
It ran into the sea
as she
wished to do,
soaking its plastic heart
in churning salt,
looking to see
what the sea keeps.

~Valentina Cano

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